THE STARSPUN WEB, by Sinead O’Hart, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, Random House Children’s Books, Penguin Random House

The Starspun Web.png

For fans of Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy comes a thrilling adventure about a brave girl who finds a portal to parallel worlds, and must protect her secret from the evil forces trying to capture it.

All her life, Tess has lived at Miss Ackerbee’s orphanage with her friends and her pet tarantula, Violet. But one day, a mysterious man named Mr. Cleat shows up and whisks Tess away to live with him. Before Tess leaves, Miss Ackerbee gives her a strange lens, and makes an even stranger admission: that Tess can travel to parallel worlds, and has been able to do so since she was found as a baby. Now, with her newfound abilities and the mysterious lens in tow, Tess must navigate life with Mr. Cleat and his nefarious housekeeper, who seem to be up to more than they let on. As Tess learns about the lens and its role in transporting her to other worlds, she discovers that behind Mr. Cleat’s oily smiles is a darker intention: one that could bring the world to its feet. Can Tess keep her secret from Mr. Cleat, and figure out what he’s up to? And what if the lens falls into the wrong hands? With the help of Violet and her friends from the orphanage, Tess can finally discover the truth about Mr. Cleat and, more importantly, herself.

Out November 2019

368 Pages Approx.


I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

This book reminds me a bit of Lemony Snickets’,  A Series of Unfortunate Events,  when I read the premise. Then, as I started reading the book, I realized I was nowhere near that series, but entering into a new,  originally themed series full of strong characters, great writing and a fantastic setting. There’s especially a wonderful MC who is brave, family-oriented, smart, loves science and isn’t afraid of the unknown. She loves a big spider… how cool is that? I wanted to know more about her and her two friends who were quirky, funny and loyal. They added comic relief and sarcasm. I found myself smiling at their interactions and interventions.

The whole idea that the main character loved science, was wholly supported for her passion and even given a “lab” space to conduct her experiments is extraordinary. There’s an entire science and technology theme here too throughout the book with experiments, revelations, and an introduction to multiverses all discovered at the hands of a female protagonist.

There’s a bit of a mystery to solve, a discovery to be made and all takes place in an orphanage and during WWII.  I found this book fascinating and well-paced, moving along at a steady and exciting pace.

A great middle-grade book that I highly recommend, a true standalone that has the potential to branch out into a mini-series. Also if you have time, pick up her debut novel, The Eye of the North. You won’t be disappointed.

I gave this book:




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